Motorola Xoom, iPads, Google Docs and Microsoft Office

Between Kevin, Dawn and Rick, I have a wealth of information coming at me.   Everyone comes to me for computer advice at school and many of my friends have jumped on the iPad wagon only to find out the thousands of apps didn’t make them truly productive.  Some friends found that the iPad made them productive.  So will the Xoom make you more productive?

Now with the Motorola Xoom, which comes with hardware superior to the older iPad, and because of Google Docs (which supports the Microsoft Office extensions) ,the ability to save files on the SD Card and various ports makes this a production pad. (GDocs for Xoom).  With Office 365, the iPad can be productive.  (along with email and other production apps)  So will the new iPad have an SD Card port or HDMI port and other peripherals people need to be truly productive?  And then again are we truly productive with mobile computing?  What about cost of ownership for companies?  Want to be more productive? Put remote desktop on the device.

With lithium ion batteries and ‘closed’ mobile devices, what happens when you need to change the battery?  With Apple, it will cost around$105.  No information will be saved and you must sync your iPad with iTunes to save the data before sending it off. (You should do this anyway).  Your iPad will be replaced by another within a week (not necessarily new).  What happens to the personal data on your iPad when you say good-bye to it?  Are they boxed up and shipped to another country to be refurbished with your data on it?  What about Motorola?  Erased data can be recovered.  Unlike a computer where you take out the hard drive and destroy it, you can’t remove onboard storage and destroy the data.

A term used in Information Technology is ROI (Return of Investment).  So many factors go into determining the ROI that with the fragile economy, IT Managers, CIOs and CEOs need to see if it is truly ‘worth’ purchasing a mobile device for employees.  A majority of apps don’t truly make us productive, but they make us happy so we can ‘play’ with technology.  We don’t truly need apps to estimate the length of our dog’s hair before we have it groomed.  If we pay $800 for a device (not including accessories) and the device last three years before becoming obsolete; shockingly that’s around $266.00 annually per employee.  So 10 employees – $2660.00 or 100 employees – $26600.00 annually.  If we use this device for 2 hours a day (520 hours annually), truly it is costing us $0.51 per hour for each hour of production.   (ROI is more complex than this.)  For convenience and production, it can be worth it if they are used for this.  So am I dismissing these? Absolutely not.

So as the mobile wars heat up and the economy stays on edge, the business community will have to determine the ROI for the devices.   IT personnel will have to work with management to find the employees who will use the technology.

As for home users, play away.

Chart: iPad 2 vs. Motorola XOOM vs. LG G-Slate vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

See our review of Windows 8 and see how you can run 90% of your programs, virtualize other operating systems, use your network and more.